I recently was at a Holiday tournament and I took a moment to realize a simple fact that I had not for some reason realized before.
There is so much work that goes into making a young baseball player’s career happen. So much effort by adults who will never get any credit for the work that they are putting in behind the scenes. Below is a list of jobs that were occurring so we could see baseball. The point of this entry is to realize the vested interest that so many take in this wonderful game, so we can appreciate it when we attend baseball games.
- Umpires: I talked to an umpire who said that he was going to umpire 12 games over the weekend. Yes – he was getting paid but he was out there from 8am to 8pm on a Saturday and Sunday. I witnessed good calls and questionable calls. But what I witnessed more than anything was grown men taking interest in kid’s lives.
- The field crew: For a tournament to occur – the field needs to be prepped for every game. One game ends and the field was being prepped for the next game. Like clockwork – these men and women kept the games going.
- Tournament Directors: These people put together these tournaments and like all planning – any event takes more time than one believes it does. For a tournament to be completed. There is a lot of behind the scenes planning that must occur.
- Coaches: To gather the teams, create the lineup, teach the game. Deal with the emotions of the game. Do what is best for the team and the individual while maintaining a will to win the game.
- Parents: In order for a game to occur – 18 parents need to do their job and have their kid at the game in uniform at specific time. For a huge tournament to occur – hundreds of parents need to collaborate, plan and deliver. Uniforms are washed. Lunches are packed. Snacks are taken care of. Water and other fluids are stuffed into a bag while gear and others are crammed into a car.
- Countless other factors must occur that we will never see.
What this should tell us as ballplayers is that we need to respect the effort put in by all the people around us. They want to give us the ultimate opportunity; play a game that we might fall in love with. They give us the opportunity to be with our friends, to overcome adversity, to succeed and to deal with failure.
So on any given weekend: don’t just show up at a park and expect all of this to be taken care of. Appreciate the work that was put in by all that you see. All the work was put in because baseball and you are worth it.
So respect the game and go out and play it. Play it to say “thank you” for being allowed to play.